You thought Sega reached peak micro-console with the teeny-weeny Game Gear Micro it unveiled last month. Sega laughs at your silly assumption. Earlier today, it announced the Astro City Mini Arcade, a wee arcade cabinet loaded with 36 classic Sega arcade games.
The announcement came way of an interview on the Japanese game site Game Watch Impress. At the time of this writing, the interview appears to be gone; some of the Sega news sites reporting on the interview wonder if Game Watch Impress published the interview too early. Regardless, sites like Sega Driven and SegaBits managed to grab a decent amount of information about the unit.
The games confirmed for inclusion so far (via SegaBits):
- Alien Syndrome
- Alien Storm
- Golden Axe
- Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder
- Columns II
- Dark Edge
- Virtua Fighter
- Fantasy Zone
- Altered Beast
We've played the Genesis ports of some of these games ad nauseum (Altered Beast comes to mind), so it's exciting to see the pure arcade versions come home for a change. As SegaBits points out, the Astro City Mini Arcade marks the first time 1992's Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder is getting any kind of home release, period. The elusive side-scrolling beat-em-up has only existed in arcades until now.
Additionally, the Astro City Mini Arcade reportedly has support for HDMI out and external controllers, so you have gameplay options beyond slumping in front of a wee cabinet. The price is seemingly set at 12,800 yen, which is about $119 USD. It's not cheap, but so far, its line-up is undeniably enticing.
Will the Astro City Mini Arcade come west? Hard to say. The aforementioned Game Gear Micro hasn't received any sort of western release date. From this angle, it looks like Sega aims to keep the best parts of its 60th anniversary celebration close to home. That makes me a sad Altered Beast.